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Rahul Dravid Explains Why Ravichandran Ashwin Surpassing Harbhajan Singh Is “A Phenomenal Achievement”


Ravichandran Ashwin in action in the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur© AFP

Team India head coach Rahul Dravid on Monday paid rich tributes to off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for surpassing Harbhajan Singh in the list of highest wicket-takers in Test cricket. Ashwin is now third among Indians in the list, only behind the legends Anil Kumble (619) and Kapil Dev (434). Ashwin has 419 wickets after 80 Test matches, while Harbhajan picked up 417 wickets in 103 Tests for India. Dravid played most of his Test career alongside Harbhajan and praised Ashwin for surpassing the veteran spinner in such less time.

“I think it’s a phenomenal achievement. I think you know Harbhajan Singh was a really fine bowler, someone I played a lot of cricket with; terrific bowler for India and what Ashwin has done, to be able to go past him in just 80 Test matches is a phenomenal achievement,” Dravid said at the post-match media conference.

Ashwin has been India’s biggest weapon in the longest format and has won several matches with the ball as well as with the bat. Ashwin’s strike-rate of 52.7 is the fourth best behind that of Dale Steyn, Sir Richard Hadlee and Glenn Mcgrath among the 16 bowlers who are currently part of the 400 Test wickets club.

This makes him the spinner with the best strike-rate in this club, which also includes legends like Kumble, Shane Warne and world record holder Muttiah Muralitharan.

Dravid, who played with Ashwin towards the end of his Test career, spoke about how the off spinner has evolved over the years.

“He has just evolved, he has just kept growing. He is one of those guys who keeps thinking about the game, keeps changing, keeps evolving, that’s why he (has) got where he has. You don’t achieve what Ashwin has achieved without growing and improving and evolving. It is a pleasure to have someone like him in the dressing room and to work (with). I am really happy for him,” Dravid said.

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Ashwin contributed with both bat and ball in the match. He ended the match with figures of 6/117 and played crucial knocks of 38 and 32 in the first and second innings respectively.

(With PTI inputs)

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